Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Change your Attitude, Change your Life

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a few months now, and its been awhile since I shared something that was more "journal entry-esque," than blog-y, but I'm putting it out into cyber-space regardless...

As I begin to write this post, it is late and I am closing in on a week of very little sleep, but a lot of really great, serotonin-releasing memories.

I haven’t always been this adventurous. Well, I’ve always had adventurous ambitions, but I also had an attitude that preferred to be snuggled in bed with a book while I watched a movie and didn’t have to talk to anyone. “Fun Gretchen” came out in spurts. I would go through phases where I would be out with friends every night for weeks in a row (hey summer 2011, looking at you), but then I would have weeks where I was very non-committal to plans, and quite frankly was pretty flaky (sorry, friends!

When it came to making and following through with plans, it took me a long time to decipher between whether my introvertedness or my less than stellar mental health was telling me to say no. Either way, I spent a lot of nights not doing things because I just wanted to be by myself, which is annoying to me now because in each season of my life, I’ve always been lucky enough to have a pretty fabulous group of friends to hang with.

Anyway. Once I had finally settled on a major in college at the end of my second year, I decided right away I was going to student teach abroad, and so I did. On the last flight from Miami to San Jose, reality set in that I was heading off to live in a different country with a different language and a different culture and I didn’t know a single person for thousands of miles. I cried in the plane. I cried after I got to my host family’s house. And then I didn’t cry again until I had to leave because I was so not ready to go home. 

By the time I got back from Costa Rica, I had decided I was moving to Tennessee for no reason other than I could, and so at the end of that summer I did.

Anyway, the purpose of this rambling post is to emphasize that life is absolutely what you make it and your attitude about things is what determines the direction that your life is going to take. Once (or twice or three times) I was so depressed that I couldn’t even look far enough ahead until the next day. Then once (or twice or three times) I decided that I didn’t want to live like that anymore. That’s how easy it was. I just decided.

Its not uncommon for people to ask me where I get all the energy to do the things I do.  Teaching is an exhausting profession, and a lot of teachers can't fathom making plans after work on any given Monday-Friday, let alone on multiple days after work. I didn’t use to have the energy levels that I do now. I was tired all the time, until I wasn’t, because I decided I didn’t want to be. I decided I wanted to live life and enjoy the things I wanted to enjoy while I still could, and somehow I now have the energy for it. A change of mindset was literally all it took.

Obviously problem don't always go away just because you want them to.  Life doesn't always get better just because you want it to.  Sometimes you have to make tough choices and sometimes you have to intentionally put forth a very conscious effort, but when it comes down to it, your attitude is EVERYTHING.

If you want to do something, you can find a way to make it happen, whatever it is.

Change your attitude, change your life.

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